By Aurelia Beaty. Guitar Electric. Published at Friday, August 31st, 2018 - 12:32:52 PM.
The middle position was something I really had to consider. It was going to be used only with the neck or bridge pickup, and never by itself. I chose a true single coil, the Seymour Duncan Five-Two. This uses Alnico II magnets for the treble strings, for a warmer tone, and the brighter Alnico V magnets for the bass strings. The bridge humbucker I chose was the ‘59Custom Hybrid. It is a little more powerful than most PAF-type pickups, and comes with 4-conductor wire which means the pickup can be split. This would be important because of the switching scheme used. Please check out Orpheo’s great article about splitting humbuckers.
The magnetic picks tend to be broken into two categories: The single coil pickup, and the double coil or humbucking pickup. Magnetic pickups gain their magnetic fields most commonly from two styles of magnets. There are pickups that will have a magnet that is a rod that will be attached to the base of the pickup, while other pickups achieve magnetism from pole pieces. Pole pieces are magnetic cylinders that come out of the pick and in some pickups adjustments can be made to strengthen the sound of the string.
I used a 5-way switch and I wanted this: Bridge Humbucker, Bridge Humbucker (split) with middle, Neck (split) & Bridge Humbucker (split), Neck (split) & Middle, Neck. Schaller Megaswitches in different configurations. The big wrench in the works was that I wanted all positions to be humbucking. This can be accomplished with a Super Switch, but I had an idea. Reading more about available switches, I decided on the Schaller MegaSwitch Model E instead. This switch eliminates the center pickup being on all alone (which I never used, anyway), and instead allows the neck and the bridge together in position three, a much more useful combination to me.
Electric Guitar Tone: Vacuum Tubes. Changing the vacum tubes in your guitar amplifier can change the tone just as much as changing the speakers. Many people claim the best 12ax7 preamp tubes and 6l6 power tubes are the American made RCA tubes that were produced in the 1950's and 60's, like the short, ribbed plate RCA 12ax7 and the black plate RCA 6l6GC, as well as the European made Mullard ECC83. Those tubes do sound great but they are expensive and dwindling in supply, since they are no longer being made. Fortunately, there are also a number of high quality current production tubes that are available to upgrade the tone of your amplifier.
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